Scott Announces COLLEGE Act; Looking to Make Universities More Responsible for Debt

Scott Announces COLLEGE Act; Looking to Make Universities More Responsible for Debt

The former governor wants universities to get students 'back to work.

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
August 24, 2022

On Monday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) announced his intention to introduce the Changing Our Learning, Loans, Endowments, and Graduation Expectations (COLLEGE) Act. With the President Joe Biden (D) announcing today that the administration will forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt, many Republicans, including the Florida Senator, have come out saying that forgiving college debt would be a disaster.

For instance, Rick Scott said in a tweet:

“Wiping out millions of dollars in student loans doesn't solve the problem. Instead, it forces millions of hardworking Americans, already struggling to afford high prices, to foot the bill for other people's degrees. And it could make inflation even worse,” said Scott.

In order to combat the President’s decision, the COLLEGE Act looks to make higher education institutions somewhat more responsible for those with crippling payments. According to the press release, “Senator Scott’s legislation puts higher education institutions on the hook for student debt, implements reporting requirements for metrics related to student success and ensures that massive university endowments benefit students and families first.”

“For far too long, state and federal leaders have taken a misguided and failed approach to managing public institutions of higher education. The result of their decades of failed policy and mismanagement is millions of Americans with mountains of student debt racked up earning degrees that haven’t prepared them for good, high-paying job in the real world,” said Scott. “Now, these same ‘leaders’ are claiming that the answer to our higher education problems is massive and unconditional student loan debt forgiveness. It’s choosing to treat a symptom when we can cure the disease. If we want real results that improve student performance, boost post-graduation job placement and keep tuition affordable, we need to do the hard work of actually holding colleges and universities responsible for the outcomes of their students and accountable to the American taxpayer. My COLLEGE Act takes big, important steps toward doing exactly that.”

The bill is designed for those students who are in default: The institution is responsible for 1% of the loan balance after the first year, escalating all the way to 10% at the end of 10 years. This will motivate higher education institutions to prepare students for careers, rather than degrees that don’t lead to contributing members of the workforce.

The bill also requires universities to report their endowment and provide a “cost-match” for financial aid based on the size of said endowment.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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